We spent 2017-18 enjoying Keith Dambrot’s first season, but after a rough loss last year, a lot of us were looking ahead to this season when we’d get a chance to see the highly regarded transfers waiting in the wings on redshirt.
When a player moves from the SEC to the Atlantic 10, there is always a little extra anticipation. Frankie Hughes left Missouri after serving in a bench role his freshman year. He reportedly drew considerable interest from around college basketball including from other Atlantic 10 programs like Dayton. Normally, those SEC players see their role increase significantly in the Atlantic 10. Hughes minutes have actually gone down from his time at Mizzou.
What He Does Well
It’s difficult to put a finger on what F. Hughes does well, because he has quietly contributed so far this season. Frankie is at his best on the defensive side of the floor, and he might be the team’s top defender in the half court. On the offensive side, he has made some very important shots and is shooting over 32% from three. In an incredibly small sample, he hasn’t missed a free throw so far.
Opportunities for Growth
Hughes needs to get more comfortable finishing inside the three point line. He’s only taken four shots for two and he’s made only one. I haven’t seen him create his own shot all that often.
Hughes is looking like a defense first option. Any offense the Dukes get out of him will be a bonus in the long run. He reminds me a little of a poor man’s Kyle Davis from Dayton. Their offense is about the same at this stage in their careers, but Davis was a better defender by a pretty wide margin.
While I don’t think Frankie will star in the Atlantic 10 like a lot of BCS transfers have, I think he could become a incredibly important role player. Even though we’re six games into the season, we still have not seen a ton of Hughes in action. He doesn’t stand out, but he’s quietly contributing. As fans, we like to see players who post big offensive numbers, but if he can give strong defense, knock down an occasional jump shot, and help the team close out some games, he’s a huge value add.